Group Sow Housing with ESF
The Pig Always Comes First
When designing any facility, new or a remodel, our first question is: “what does the pig need?” This question, or rather this mentality, governs the basis of everything we incorporate. Our team focuses on and understands what is needed and how to incorporate into our designs the social tendencies of swine, the pigs' traits, and the habits and patterns they will develop.
Our hog barn designs then reflect that understanding. Whether it’s a group sow housing project, nursery barn, finishing barn or gilt development unit, the barn is optimized for the pig.
Our EquipmentWhile ESF equipment alone cannot guarantee a functional group gestation pen, quality and durable electronic feeding equipment is an integral part of a great pen design. That is why we have chosen to partner with Nedap for our feed systems. Nedap has always lead the industry in technological advancements, and their data collection and complete barn management systems make their ESF system the only one that allows producers to effectively manage large pens.
Training the Employees, Then the Pigs, Then the Employees
A barn will only be as good as it is managed by the employees. We feel a well-educated and trained employee will always serve the site, the pigs and themselves to a higher degree. Our engagement with every customer is never over. Education on how we think and design starts before construction and will carry through the startup of the barn. We continue educating through the long-term use and success of the site. When we have well educated and well supported people in training pigs in an ESF system, good use of a new pig barn design becomes second nature to them and automatic for the pigs.
Designing for Social, Curious and Habitual Sows
In our loose housing facilities, we allow for the fact that pigs, in general, are social creatures. They will thrive not only on healthy interaction with each other but also with your personnel within the barn. Barn designs that allow interaction for pigs that desire it and that allow the people within the barn to engage with the animals freely are the most successful swine barns.
In group sow housing with electronic sow feeding (ESF), sows typically hang out with the same friends each day and will even use the same laying area each day. We design knowing the social needs of sows and issues that may arise if those needs aren’t met. A key feature of our group sow housing facilities is they foster a common rest period each day. We want the girls to be able to relax together and not always have someone waiting to eat. Thus, we have to calculate that into the feeding system. Sow feeding with our systems is cyclical, not continuous. The girls will always have access to the feed stations, but we build to foster healthy pens that communally rest together without us forcing activity.